The ethics of underwear shopping

I strive as much as possible to only buy second-hand clothing.

I do this partly because it’s a recipe for a more individualised ‘look’ (ugh hate that expression), partly because it’s (mostly) cheaper, partly because I like ‘vintage’ styles and find stuff I’d wear more than I do in popular chain stores, and partly I do it because it is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and ethically sound in a way that a new dress from Topshop definitely is not.
The quality of ‘pre-loved’ clothing rarely bothers me; if it isn’t slightly stained/torn/worn/pilled already, it will quickly become so in my (lack of) care.

I tend to scour op-shops, vintage stores, markets, and Etsy for dresses, boots, hats, scarves, coats… anything I might like to add to my beloved collection of garments. Yeah, occasionally I’ll buy something new from, say, Topshop/H&M/i.d.s. and feel kind of shit about it but those moments are few and far between. I also sometimes buy new things that are fair-trade or locally made, but really, on the whole, I buy most of my clothing second-hand, and I do it without too much bother.

However, I obviously can’t buy second-hand underwear.
Aside from the fact that it’s pretty taboo and kind of gross, it’s just not available. Second-hand bras is fine except I never find any nice ones, and second-hand knickers is just not on.

So for a while now, I’ve been settling for American Apparel’s high-waisted black lace knickers, because even if they’re made all the way in the U.S., at least I know they’re sweatshop free, which is something. It’s definitely not a long-term solution because damn, they’re expensive and, believe it or not, there are some outfits for which waist-high black lace undies just aren’t appropriate underwear.

My question is this: where the flip does one buy underwear that’s made in an environmentally-safe manner (i.e. NOT in a factory that’s pumping toxicity into rivers in China), either locally made or fair-trade, from material that is breathable, and at a reasonable price?Oh, and high-waisted, and PRETTY, too??!

Sidenote: this whole issue also applies to stockings/tights.

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